No More Runner’s High as Usain Bolt Ends his Season Early

Usain Bolt is giving himself time to come back from a running injuryUsain Bolt may be one of the fastest human beings on the planet, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be felled by a running injury just like the rest of us mere mortals.

Back in 2008, Bolt won three Olympic gold medals and set three world records while competing in Beijing, but this season, after suffering a serious foot injury, the speed demon competed in just three races (all of which, he won, by the way, but not with his typical lightening speed.)

This week, Bolt decided to end his racing season as he pulled out of the Diamond League meeting in Zurich. His coach, Glen Mills, said, “It is now time to shut (the season) down while (Bolt) is healthy and injury free with a view on his preparations for the 2015 season."

In my humble opinion, Bolt and his coach are making a smart decision. In my Houston podiatry practice, I see so many runners who want to return to their former training schedule immediately after recovering from an injury. Unfortunately, this often leads not only to frustration, as their bodies are not as physically capable as they were pre-injury, but it also leads to repeat or new injuries as their weakened muscles strain to train hard.

With his eyes on the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, Bolt is wise to take some rest time and recognize that he, for this year at least, he can’t (and shouldn’t try!) to break any world records. As the Diamond meet director Patrick Magyar said, “"Usain's body has delivered tremendous performances over the last years. But, it is a body and not a machine. If an athlete of that level and his coach feel more rest is needed, we are certainly not going to question this and fully support this decision."

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.